March 16

Written by Bill Grandi on March 16th, 2023

“God is a cosmic killjoy and His Book is the consummate rule book.”  So say some people.

The argument goes something like this:

  • God is like a father towering over his children;
  • He delights in spanking and meting out judgment;
  • Therefore, He is a killjoy bent on taking the fun out of life.

Another argument goes like this:

  • I want to have fun;
  • The Bible says some things are wrong;
  • Therefore, the Bible is a rule book designed to stop or inhibit my fun.

None of that is true. It IS true that God is like a father. He is one. Jesus called Him that. But standing over us with a divine “ruler” to whack us? No.

And it IS true that the Bible says some things are wrong. It also says some things are right. But to be cracked open as a divine rule book of “Do this or don’t do that or else”? No.

God is a Father. His Word is Law. But see it as His standards-not to legislate or restrict us-but to free us. To give us some boundaries so we might truly enjoy life to the fullest. See them as protection, designed not to keep us in, but to keep our enemy out.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)  That is not restrictive, involving punishment for wrong doing. That is liberation! Those are boundaries for our mind and heart to know freedom. James calls it the “perfect law of liberty.” (1:25)

See God as a Liberator. See His Word as a protective fence. He loves you too much to stifle you, but He also loves you too much to want to see you suffer the consequences of your sin and bad choices.



10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    No doubt God’s expectations are for us to live a life that is honoring to him. But because of Jesus, we now live a life that is forever bound by grace for those who have put their trust in Him. This has not always been the case. When God used Moses to set the people of Israel free from the bondage of Egypt, the rules and regulations were much more strict. The penalty for not following those rules were much more shall we say… permanent. I am thankful that God has provided His grace so that I don’t have to be so focused on the “law” and I can focus on the relationship.

  2. gail says:

    Great point Bill. God does know best, and He loves us beyond measure. I wish I could say all my decisions reflected His guidance, but some things I had to learn the hard way. I am most grateful, for His grace and understanding, and that Jesus went to the cross so that I could have forgiveness. Even when I do fail, God still welcomes me to His table, and the relationship remains intact. God continues to shape me, teach me, and encourage me, and that is the best relationship I could ever have.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Your sentence “I wish I could say all my decisions…” is way too true for me as well Gail. I want and pray God will continue shaping me for His use.

  3. Good parents know that their children need boundaries in order to grow into responsible adults. God wants only the best for His children; frankly, I find His boundaries to be the perfect guidelines so we can have that abundant life Jesus promised.
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You hit on it Martha: good parents know their children need boundaries…” I’m glad God is not like many parents today: wanting to be their child’s friend instead of parent. I need His boundaries.

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    Philippians 4 is such a precious, meaningful chapter to so many of us. God applies Paul’s words to so many of life’s challenges. I’m so grateful.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is a precious chapter Linda. In fact, it will be my focus for my next series on Fear and Anxiety coming in May and June.